Recipe: Mulligatawny soup

Mulligatawny soup plant-based soup recipe

This wonderful flavoursome mulligatawny soup is said to be English, with Indian origins. It’s a hearty curry soup, perfect for warming you up on cold winter days. Traditionally mulligatawny soup contains meat (chicken or lamb) but this one is vegan and gluten free. Your meat loving friends will not notice, promise!

There is quite a long preparation time for this recipe, as it takes a while for the veggies to cook; the longer you cook over a low heat the richer this soup will taste. To save time, you can use leftover cooked rice from your meal the night before – just add it to the soup a few minutes before serving, to allow the rice to warm up. The apple adds a natural sweetness to the soup, but you can miss it out if you don’t fancy it! It tastes even better the day after so I recommend that you make double the amount you need. (And, if you do have any soup left, place it into portion sized plastic containers and freeze it, to give yourself a quick easy meal later on).

This recipe serves 4 people. Total calories are 528 (roughly 132 per serving)


1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1.5cm/ ⅝in cubes
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 eating apple, peeled, quartered, core removed and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 litre/1¾ pints boiling water
1 tbsp tomato purée
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
100g/3½oz brown rice
Large handful fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


Cook the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potato, in a large soup pan, over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables are beginning to soften and brown lightly. Stir in the apple pieces, sprinkle over the curry powder and sweet paprika then add the corn flour. Cook for a further 2 minutes more, stirring as it cooks.

Pour the water (or homemade vegetable stock) into the pan, and stir in the tomato purée. Bring to the boil – you will see that the soup starts to thicken. Then add in the lemon juice and tamari sauce, reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the vegetables are tender – they might be just starting to fall apart. Add more water if necessary.

While the soup is simmering, half-fill a medium pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the rice and return to the boil. Cook until the rice is tender (30-40 minutes). Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse under running water until cold.

When the vegetables are cooked, cool the soup for a few minutes. If you would like a smooth creamy soup, blend with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth before stirring in the cooled rice. If you want a more rustic texture to the soup, do not blend, simply add the rice to the pan. Add in a handful of fresh herbs.

Heat the soup for 3–4 minutes until piping hot and check the seasoning, add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sometimes adding rice can soak up some of the liquid, so add some boiling water at this stage if needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of coriander or flat-leaf parsley if you like.

We serve soups every day during the cooler months, so come and enjoy the food at La Crisalida, as part of your detox and weight loss, life makeover or yoga retreat.

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).